Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Medicine (sections of health services research and geriatrics) has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that will focus on integrating geriatrics into primary care training.
The grant will support the establishment of the South East Texas Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (SETx-GWEP), a network of health professions schools and community-based organizations to develop a healthcare workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement while improving health outcomes for older adults by integrating geriatrics and primary care.
“We are delighted this funding opportunity will provide a spark to advance Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center’s strategy to enhance geriatrics education and training among our faculty, staff, trainees and students as well as the outreach to and clinical care of older adults across our region,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor.
Dr. Aanand Naik, acting chief of geriatric medicine in the Department of Medicine at Baylor and SETx-GWEP co-director, said that there can be challenges when it comes to building a workforce prepared to care for an aging America. Naik cites the Institute of Medicine’s 2008 report “Retooling for an Aging America,” that states that the nation faces a healthcare crisis “as the number of older patient with more complex health needs increasingly outpaces the number of healthcare providers with the knowledge and skills to adequately care for them.”
- Educating interprofessional primary care trainees and caregivers on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
- Recognizing and appropriately treating of geriatric mental health conditions including geriatric depression, anxiety and delirium.
- Training to identify patient priorities and align care with those priorities within routine primary care appointments, including education on advanced care planning and palliative care.
- Introducing multilevel strategies in participating primary care networks to help maintain patient function and mobility through transitions of care.
- Interprofessional training in geriatric dental health.
- Training for community gatekeepers and interprofessional primary care trainees in recognizing and reducing elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
Training to promote an integrated geriatrics and primary care model requires a collaborative approach. The SETx-GWEP will be a united partnership of academic institutions, community-based organizations and primary care networks. The partners include Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and integrated primary care network, BakerRipley Senior Services, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, University of Houston Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, Lone Star Family Medical Center, HOPE Clinic, Harris Health Geriatrics program, University of Texas Cizik School of Nursing and School of Dentistry, Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy, Montrose Center, and Texas Women’s University.
This network will also be led by a collaborative team. In addition to Naik and Catic at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, program associate directors include Jane Bavineau, BakerRipley Senior Services; Dr. Kathryn Agarwal, Baylor College of Medicine; Dr. Brian Reed, University of Houston College of Medicine; Dr. Sabrina Pickens, University of Texas Cizik School of Medicine; Kristin Wade, Baylor College of Medicine; and Dr. Ali Asgar-Ali, Baylor College of Medicine and DeBakey VA Medical Center.